I want to generate a normal map from a bump map in Blender. It is possible to do it with Crazy Bump (you need to flip it in Y to make it compatible with Blender), i want to reproduce the result in Blender.

Here is the Source: enter image description here

And the result: enter image description here


In Cycles, you can do like this :

  • create a plane and unwrap it
  • add a material to it, like this in the node editor, from left to right : UV input node, your source image, a bump map vector, connected to the displacement of the material. The result image (on the right) is added and selected in order to be baked to.

enter image description here

Now go to the render panel, in the bake section : choose bake type = "Normal", and click "bake". Here is the result :

enter image description here

The blend file :

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you. Also to remove the artefacts the generated normal map can be plugged to a bilateral node (image and determinator). I let the question unsolved to see if someone comes with a solution to create a normal map directly in the compositor. $\endgroup$ – Danyl Bekhoucha Jun 25 '16 at 19:57
  • $\begingroup$ @DanylBekhoucha, can you explain "bilateral node" & "image and determinator" : no idea what you mean ? (i am interested to learn) $\endgroup$ – lemon Jun 25 '16 at 20:00
  • $\begingroup$ The bilateral node is used to blur a noisy image while keeping the edges sharp, it's particularly good for baked AO. The normal map is used as determinator to indicate where are the edges and keep them sharp. $\endgroup$ – Danyl Bekhoucha Jun 25 '16 at 20:08

Here is a solution using Blender Render:

  • Create a plane and resize it in Object mode to the height map's dimensions (keep proportions). After setting Dimensions apply the Scale.
  • Unwrap the plane mesh
  • Add a material and the height map texture to that material - set Influence to Normal and uncheck it from Color - this influence can be adjusted as needed and the result can be previewed now on the plane, in the 3D View when set to Material display.
  • Switch to Edit mode with the plane selected: In the UV/Image editor create a new image (texture) with same ratio as height map - this will be used for baking the normal map - and select it in the "Browse image to be linked" dialog.
  • Go to Render and the Bake sub-menu - select Normals Bake mode, Tangent space, 0px Margin and hit Bake
  • The normal map should now be baked to the recently created image - and can now be saved etc.
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  • $\begingroup$ Hi, what you mean by "height map texture"? $\endgroup$ – m.ardito Sep 5 '18 at 9:19
  • $\begingroup$ I mean the map itself - the source grayscale image - same as 'bump map' as referred to in the question. $\endgroup$ – horiac7 Sep 5 '18 at 9:53

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